Is reporting spam originating from Yahoo! email futile?

Whenever I receive a spam email that appears to come from a Yahoo! Mail account, I send it off to abuse@yahoo.com and spamcop.net.  About 3/4 of the time, some representative from Yahoo! rejects the spam email as having incomplete email headers.  When I forward the spam email to Yahoo! and spamcop.net, I include it as an attachment with full email headers.

Spamcop.net will happily accept forwarded spam if the spam has full email headers.  It will, likewise, reject any forwarded emails without the complete email headers.

Yahoo! appears to process the forwarded spam prior to sending it off to a live human.  I suspect that either this processing sometimes wrongly strips the email headers from the spam or that some of the Yahoo! support people are just rejecting the forwarded spam under the guise of "incomplete email headers".

If anyone has any ties to Yahoo!, please let them know about this issue as I’ve been getting no where with them.

Hello,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

Unfortunately, it appears the full Internet headers of the unwanted
message you have received is not reaching us. Below I have provided
step-by-step instructions on displaying the header information needed
and how to forward the message in question to us.

1. Within your Yahoo! Mail account, open the email you would like to
report.

2. Click the "Full headers" link located near the lower right hand
corner of the screen to display the complete header information.

3. Click the "Forward" button to forward the message to us.

4. Type abuse@yahoo.com within the "To:" text box.

5. Click "Send" to send the message to us.

Once we receive the email in its entirety, we will be able to evaluate
the unwanted message further. Please know that if any of the requested
information is missing, we will be unable to complete our
investigation.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

Regards,

Duke

Yahoo! Customer Care
http://www.yahoo.com/

30224166



Original Message Follows:
-------------------------

Umm.. actually it did include all of the headers. How do I know this?
I forward these emails to spamcop.net as well as abuse@yahoo.com (same
message). Spamcop.net will actively reject the message if the headers
aren't included. Spamcop.net accepted the message.

When I forward the same message again, doing nothing different than the
first time I sent it, the message is accepted by Yahoo as it contained
the full headers. I suspect that Yahoo's automated reporting engine is
somehow truncating the email headers from time to time.

thanks

Jason


--- Yahoo! Mail <abuse@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.
>
> Unfortunately, your message to us was missing the full Internet
> headers.
> Without the full headers we will be unable to further investigate
> this
> matter.
>
> Email headers are used to deliver a message over the Internet and
> contain a record of the specific route that the message took. Full
> header information is included in every message that is sent.
> Depending
> on the setup of your email account and/or server, however, this
> header
> information may not be visible or otherwise available to you. Please
> consult with your email administrator or email program help
> information
> to determine the availability of this full header information.
>
> At this time, we will need you to forward a copy of the message, as
> opposed to sending it as an attachment, because we are currently
> unable
> to accept attachments. Please include the following in your report of
>
> email abuse to assist us in a prompt and full evaluation:
>
> 1. Original subject line -- Please forward the email with a
> subject
> identical to the original subject.
>
> 2. Complete headers -- Email programs often display abbreviated
> headers. To learn how to display the full headers in a Yahoo! Mail
> account, please visit the Yahoo! Mail Help Desk at:
>
> http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/config/config-11.html
>
> For non-Yahoo! Mail users, please refer to the URL below for
> information
> on how to get the full headers for your particular email client:
>
> http://www.haltabuse.org/help/headers/index.shtml
>
> 3. Complete message body -- Please include the complete, unedited
> content of the email message in question. Please do not change or
> edit
> the message in any way.
>
> If reports of email abuse are missing any one of these three items,
> we
> may not be able to further investigate such reports. We appreciate
> your
> efforts in reporting this abuse to Yahoo!.
>
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.
>
> Regards,
>
> Nancy
>
> Yahoo! Customer Care
> http://www.yahoo.com/
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One Reply to “Is reporting spam originating from Yahoo! email futile?”

  1. Yahoo’s newest policy now rejects conventional spam reporting (as you describe above and sent to abuse@yahoo.com) entirely. Rather they force anyone who wishes to report spam to go to a special spam reporting page on their website, paste the message headers in one place, paste the content of the message in a second-place and then duplicate an eight digit displayed code before sending the message.
    The logical effect of this far more time-consuming approach will be that far less spam is reported to Yahoo. That may be precisely the intent of course, since dealing with spam takes time but doesn’t produce revenue. On the other hand the inevitable reduction in spam reports made to Yahoo will have the ultimate effect of making Yahoo the most “user-friendly” site for potential spammers, since any such spammer is less likely to be reported by the average spam recipient due to the extra time and trouble involved.
    This is one of those policies that looks like a halfway reasonable idea until one analyzes what the likely real effect will be. In the end this new Yahoo! policy of requiring significantly more time-consuming spam reports can only reduce the number of spam reports made and thus ultimately increase the volume of spam originating from Yahoo! users. But perhaps from Yahoo!’s perspective this pales in comparison with the savings realized by reducing the cost of dealing with those annoying spam reports.

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